SDV Insights

Minnesota District Court Bars Insurer from Retroactively Allocating Jury Award to Fit Sexual Abuse Exclusion

The District of Minnesota recently held that an excess insurer, who has the opportunity to participate in the defense of an underlying claim, is barred from speculating to the allocation of the jury award to make it fit within a policy exclusion.

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A General Contractor's Guide to Additional Insured Coverage recently surveyed attorneys to offer tips for what general contractors should - and shouldn't - do when pursuing additional insured coverage. According to the article, "With the broad array of risks present on a typical construction site, one of a general contractor's top options to shield itself from liability for property damage and bodily injury claims is to secure expansive "additional insured" coverage through its subcontractors."

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Signed, Sealed and (Almost) Delivered: EU Council Authorizes Signing of U.S. - EU Bilateral Insurance Agreement

On July 14, 2017, the Trump administration released a statement indicating that the United States intends to sign the U.S. - EU bilateral insurance agreement. The announcement came several weeks after the Council of the European Union adopted a decision authorizing the signing of this agreement.

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Medidata Win Fortifies Policyholders In Digital Fraud Fights

In a pro-policyholder decision, reported that a New York federal judge recently ruled that a thief's use of emails to trick employees of Medidata into wiring money overseas was a covered incident under the company's computer fraud policy, weakening insurers' arguments that such coverage is meant to apply only to hacking into policyholders' computers.

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Stormy Seas Ahead: 5th Circuit to Review Whether Maritime Law Applies to Offshore Service Contract

Earlier this year, the 5th Circuit applied the Davis factors to determine the validity of an indemnity clause in a Master Services Contract. In Larry Doiron Inc. et al., v. Specialty Rental Tool & Supply LLP et al., the court affirmed the notion that if a contract provides services on navigable waters aboard a vessel, a maritime contract exists, even if the contract calls for incidental or insubstantial work unrelated to the use of a vessel.

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Affirmed: Nationwide Acted in Bad Faith by Failing to Settle Within Limits

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed that Nationwide acted in bad faith by refusing to settle a claim against its insured for the policy limits of $100,000, exposing the policyholder to a $5.83 million verdict.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Insurance Salesman had No Fiduciary Duty to Policyholders

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a life insurance salesman had no fiduciary duty to his customers where the customers retained decision-making authority regarding which policies to purchase.

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Refinery Power Outage Illuminates Importance of Service Interruption Coverage

In an action filed against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the Eastern District of California last month, Valero Refining Co. alleges it sustained damages in excess of $75 million, including costs to restore operations and lost profits from decreased output, as a result of a power outage to its Benecia, California refinery. See Valero Refining Co. -- California v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 2:17-cv-01359-TLN-EFB (E.D.Cal. June 30, 2017).

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Florida's New Statute of Repose for Construction Defect Claims

On June 15, 2017, Governor Rick Scott ratified H.B. 377, which amends Florida's statute of repose for construction defect claims to include, for the first time, a definition for contract completion.

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Connecticut District Court to Review Proposed Class Action in Defective Concrete Suit

Thousands of Connecticut homeowners have fallen victim to a defective concrete epidemic. Over the last thirty years, the foundation in many homes, particularly in the Northeast region of the state, was built with a concrete aggregate that contained the mineral pyrrhotite.

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